U.S. and Afghan Forces Killed More Civilians Than Taliban Did, Report Finds

David Zucchino – New York Times April 24, 2019

Coalition jets over Afghanistan. Click to enlarge

For the first time since the United Nations began documenting civilian casualties in Afghanistan a decade ago, more civilians are being killed by Afghan government and American forces than by the Taliban and other insurgents, according to a report on Wednesday.

Civilian deaths attributed to pro-government forces rose in the first quarter of this year even as overall civilian casualties dropped to their lowest level in that period since 2013.

The United Nations said in its quarterly report that pro-government forces were responsible for 53 percent of civilian deaths. But insurgents were responsible for the majority — 54 percent — of civilian casualties over all, even as the number of suicide bombings decreased compared with the same period in 2018, the report said.

During the first three months of this year, military operations escalated as both sides sought leverage in peace talks between the United States and the Taliban in Doha, Qatar. At the same time, there has been a relative lull in insurgent suicide attacks that indiscriminately kill civilians, especially in Kabul, the capital. The city has been a repeated target during the conflict, which is in its 18th year.

“It is unclear whether the decrease in civilian casualties was influenced by any measures taken by parties to the conflict to better protect civilians, or by the ongoing talks between parties to the conflict,” the United Nations report said.

The agency reported 581 civilians killed and 1,192 wounded during the first quarter, a 23 percent decrease in overall casualties compared with the same period in 2018.

Other quarterly numbers may reflect an increasing reliance on airstrikes in a war in which Afghan security forces tend to hunker down in fortified bases rather than mount aggressive assaults against Taliban fighters. When attacked, Afghan forces often call for airstrikes by the American-trained Afghan Air Force to dislodge the enemy.

Aerial operations were the third-highest cause of civilian casualties, killing 145 civilians and wounding 83 during the quarter — a 41 percent increase for those type of casualties compared with the same quarter in 2018. The report attributed almost all of those casualties to American airstrikes.

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2 responses to “U.S. and Afghan Forces Killed More Civilians Than Taliban Did, Report Finds”

  1. Perverted Logic Reigns Supreme In US Military

    So how insane are the US forces? Well read this quote from the above article:

    “We reserve the right of self-defense of our forces as well as the Afghan security forces,” Colonel Butler said in a statement. “The best way to end the suffering of noncombatants is to end the fighting through an agreed-upon reduction in violence on all sides.

    A question for crazy Colonel Butler? You invade a foreign country, overthrow its government, wage war on its populace, that same said populace oppose you and fight you, and YOU HAVE THE NERVE, COLONEL BUTLER, TO SAY YOU ARE SELF DEFENDING YOURSELF WHEN YOU ARE THE INVADERS!!

    Colonel Butler is either insane, or one evil human being, turning facts on its head. Inverting truth to falsehoods and falsehoods to truisms.

    There is only one illegal and war criminal force in Afghanistan, and that is the egregious and criminal United States of America.

    Message for Colonel Butler: Every single person in Afghanistan (Afghan or Non-Afghan) has every single right to wage war and kill every single US military serviceman in Afghanistan. The US has broken international law by invading Afghanistan, and every single US service man that is killed in Afghanistan is done so as an illegal invader and part of an occupying force.

    It is the height of hypocrisy for a US colonel to cry about his men being killed, when at the same time, those same men are killing Afghans by the thousands. The war criminals are the United States of America!

    Where is international justice? What is the point of having an International Court, when it only applies to those people you can bully around? Its time the world stopped supporting these lies and crimes being committed by the USA. The real war mongers on this planet are the Americans, and they must be stopped!

  2. the USA killed more brits in iraq than iraqis
    in w w 2 the americans destroyed many french towns and villages unnecessarily
    killing thousands
    That great book lies in wartime tell how criminal governments get people to go kill other people.
    if the man next door has an argument with the man over the road
    should i go kill them ? no
    so why should the government declare a war then send other people e g its electorate in to go bomb the people of the government it does not agree with ?
    its alla huge racket to make money for jews